For 2018, Nissan has turned over a new Leaf in the electric car market. The old Nissan Leaf was not equipped with the ability and range like this year’s model. With new additions to the driver assist options and a change in the body style, it is well positioned to give consumers a great ride and competitors a run for their money.
There are only two other electric cars on the market with similar features, boasting such driving ranges as 150 miles or more, larger cabins and all of the bells and whistles that the typical green car driver demands. It is one of the top selling electric cars and with the changes in this year’s design, it should remain as such.
The 40-kWh battery in the Nissan Leaf affords it an EPA estimated driving range of 151 miles fully charged. If in a pinch, drivers can charge for 30 minutes with DC charge and recoup about 90 more miles of driving. For a completely full charge using a standard 120v outlet, it’s going to take 35 hours.
Environmentally, the Leaf is a better option than gas powered cars due to it producing no tailpipe emissions and no greenhouse gas emissions. Depending on where and when the car is charged, the costs to power up will vary. There is also the manufacturing output that needs to be considered just to produce each vehicle, gas or electric. Depending on the power company, the Leaf can also sell and send power back to the grid through the demand response system.
The horsepower on the new Leaf has been improved from 107 to 147. There is also more power in the lithium-ion battery. It is a 5 door hatchback which can seat comfortably 5 people, 2 in the front and 3 in the backseat.
The Leaf is available with such luxury amenities as leather seats, heated front seats, heated steering wheel and power adjustable driver’s seat.
The Leaf’s interior can be described as a comfortable, sensibly laid out mid-grade sedan. It is no frills for sure, but with an excellent infotainment system with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay.
It also comes with available Bose Energy Efficient Premium Audio System. The engineers at Bose created their typical concert sound capabilities utilizing seven small speakers, so as not to put unnecessary drain on the battery.
The interior lacks luster for the price starting at $30,000, but offers a good measure of comfort. The improvement on the exterior from last year’s model is noticeable and welcome.
Range capabilities are still an issue with the EV market as a whole, so the Nissan Leaf is in good company when its car buyers suffer a bit in battery life department. It is not meant for hills or mountain jaunts, but daily errand running and the work commute.
Because most electric cars run so quietly it may be difficult sometimes to know if the car is running, Nissan installed digital warning sounds to alert the driver in the car and the pedestrians outside the car.
The Leaf also comes with lane centering technology through the ProPilot system, helping the driver to stay safely within the lane. Along with most of the standard safety features offered on last year’s model, the Leaf brings to market a calm, sensible and safe approach to zipping around town and city.